A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
I’ve been reading an obituary About Nigel The lonely gannet of Mana Island Who fell in love With a concrete statue And I’ve been wondering What his story says About desire Because I’ve come to believe Without desire there is nothing -- Nigel with no other gannets On the island Wooed a fake bird Building her A nest of dirt and seaweed Like Nigel we exist Only because desire urges us Toward the world You might say The beloved Is the world and the reason For the world We are desire Nothing but desire You might say -- Conservationists hoped The colony Of 80 fake birds Would attract real birds And establish a breeding colony But Nigel was the only gannet Who arrived and he stayed For her It’s important to know That without the reaching There is nothing Without desire we do not exist No matter if the beloved Is a fantasy no matter Whether memories Are real -- Nigel was a lovely bird One woman said But a bit confused He was likely kicked out Of another colony and so He came here The real and the ideal Live side by side On the island Noesis and noema Hold hands Or in this case Wings -- We want to believe Nigel was happy Living alone With her And then Three gannets arrived And built nests But Nigel shunned the new arrivals And remained on the other side Of the island With her Like many of us He preferred the ideal To the real -- We love. We hate We accept. We reject We exist only because we desire Last week Nigel’s body was found Next to his concrete love By ranger Chris Bell Who also lives alone on the island
Michael Simms’s books include American Ash (Ragged Sky, 2020).
Copyright 2020 Michael Simms.